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For the record: 25/05/2009

“It’s very difficult to make money from a story about a tragedy or murder or so forth,” Google’s Eric Schmidt on the great dilemma for news businesses

Rich benefactor

Say what you like about the owner of Express Newspapers, in the words of The Variety Club of Great Britain he is “the world renowned philanthropist and publisher Richard Desmond”.

It has presented Desmond with an award for his long-standing support, noting that his godfather (Dickie Pearl of Pearl & Dean cinema advertising fame) set the club up in the first place. Last week’s OK! magazine even featured pictures of the Northern & Shell founder himself, giving the club a new minibus. “We decided to give this bus on behalf of OK! readers in the name of Jade Goody as Essex was her area and she loved kids,” he explained.

20-20 Vision

All of this philanthropy does not mean Desmond has suddenly become a pussy cat in the media business. His Daily Star has brazenly pinched The Sun’s giant silver-on-blue slogan “This paper costs just 20p”, adding the line “10p less than The Sun…why pay more for less”, to reflect the Wapping paper’s increased price outside of London. News International is not impressed.

Unhappy Mondays

But here’s something for Desmond to worry about. I can reveal that OK!’s great rival Hello! has – thanks to Charlotte Stockting, its publishing director – just cut a deal with Associated Newspapers that will allow it to be in the shops on Mondays, a day earlier than the competition.

Pony clubbing

There was a time when Radio 1 presenters would do anything and everything to stress their “street” credentials. No longer. Sara “Coxy” Cox boasts of her love of equestrianism and has taken on the role of ambassador for British Show Jumping, pointing out that taking part in the BBC Sport Relief show Only Fools and Horses has “rekindled my love for the sport”.